Cucumis metuliferus Naudin

Selected images: Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record View all images (30)

Cucumis metuliferus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near saw mill, Catapu

Cucumis metuliferus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near saw mill, Catapu

Cucumis metuliferus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near saw mill, Catapu

Cucumis metuliferus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nhascuvo Ranger Camp, Gorongosa National Park.

Cucumis metuliferus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Lake Urema Floodplain Edge, Gorongosa National Park

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Cucumis metulifer E. Mey. ex Naudin
Common names: African horned cucumber (English) Spiny cucumber (English)
Status: Native
Annual prostrate or climbing herb. Stems up to 5 m long, covered in bristly hairs. Leaves broadly ovate or subpentagonal in outline, more or less shallowly (3-)5-lobed, more or less densely bristly hairy, particularly on the veins below; margin with small sinuate teeth; petiole 2-11.5 cm long, covered in bristly hairs. Flowers unisexual, both sexes on the same plant, solitary or in 2-10-flowered clusters, yellow or pale orange, up to 2.5 cm in diameter. Fruits oblong-cylindric, up to 13 cm long, covered with stout fleshy spines, grey-green to orange yellow, often mottled, turning bright orange-red when ripe, edible.
Notes: The name of this species is often given as Cucumis metulifer. Pending clarification, we have retained the name used in Flora Zambesiaca.
Derivation of specific name: metuliferus: from the Latin: metula meaning a small pyramid and ferus meaning bearing, referring to spines on the fruit
Habitat: In semi-deciduous forest, woodland, wooded grassland and abandoned cultivation, often in riverine areas.
Altitude range: 20 - 1100 m
Flowering time:Dec - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS,GI,M
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Thursday 23 June 2016

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Pages 201 - 202. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 18.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 241. (Includes a picture).

Jeffrey, C. (1978). Cucurbitaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 463 - 464. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 38.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 53.

Other sources of information about Cucumis metuliferus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cucumis metuliferus
Flora of Caprivi: Cucumis metuliferus
Flora of Malawi: Cucumis metuliferus
Flora of Zambia: Cucumis metuliferus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cucumis metuliferus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Cucumis metuliferus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cucumis metuliferus
African Plant Database: Cucumis metuliferus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cucumis metuliferus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cucumis metuliferus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Cucumis metuliferus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Cucumis metuliferus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cucumis metuliferus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Cucumis metuliferus
iNaturalist: Cucumis metuliferus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cucumis metuliferus
JSTOR Plant Science: Cucumis metuliferus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Cucumis metuliferus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cucumis metuliferus
Plants of the World Online: Cucumis metuliferus
Tropicos: Cucumis metuliferus
Wikipedia: Cucumis metuliferus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-22

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2022). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Cucumis metuliferus., retrieved 6 December 2022

Site software last modified: 24 September 2019 10:58am
Terms of use